Guardian reader directs off-topic, anti-Zionist vitriol towards Sasha Baron Cohen

H/T Margie

Peter Bradshaw wrote a largely positive review of Sasha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator, in the Guardian, May 10. 

Bradshaw wrote:

“Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen, the tyrannical ruler of the oil-rich north African rogue state Wadiya, who is intensely irritated by the western powers’ infatuation with the Arab spring.” 

“[Aladeen] exerts a grotesque, Orwellian power and abolishes hundreds of words in the Adiyan dictionary.”

“His confrontation with Washington has reached a crisis after a speech in which he announced Wadiya was just months away from enriching uranium, and then corpsed and giggled uncontrollably when trying to claim that this was for ‘clean energy purposes’.”

Bradshaw comments:

“[The film] does…deliver laughs and weapons-grade offensiveness.”

“It is relentlessly immature and I was often reminded of the cheerfully reprehensible Kentucky Fried Movie in the 70s, a film unashamedly low in nutritional value. But it was very funny and so is this. The Dictator isn’t going to win awards and it isn’t as hip as Borat. Big goofy outrageous laughs is what it has to offer.”

Evidently, one reader (someone using the moniker ATTW) wasn’t amused, and wrote this comment:

Unpacking this comment (which has thus far garnered 39 ‘Recommends’):

  • Conflating of Jews with Israelis: Cohen, a British Jew, is immediately tied to Israel. (Also, see this CW post about a similarly bigoted attack on Cohen by the Guardian’s Michael White.)
  • Classic projection: The suggestion that Israel is an extreme anti-Arab, anti-Islamic country is a perfect moral inversion in light of the Arab world’s malign obsession with Jews and Israel, and endemic culture of antisemitism. It takes a lot of ideological conditioning to see the last 64 years as the Israeli/Jewish war against the Arab/Islamic world.
  • Thinly veiled Nazi analogy: The reader sees a Jew mocking Arab dictators as somehow analogous to Germans mocking Jews in the years leading up to the Holocaust.

This off-topic, gratuitously anti-Zionist (and ad hominem) attack on Cohen has not been deleted by CiF moderators. 

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